Tuesday, October 25, 2005

I Had to Share This

One of Troyer's assignments this week was to write a poem using the Japanese Lantern format. He was given an example, and used it to write his own. You need to know that he loves cats, but hates dogs. I think he would have written about cats, if not for the fact that the example was already about cats. So here is what he wrote instead:

things that like to

My apologies to all you dog lovers out there!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Some Halloween Humor:

the kid never stops!

Q: What do female ghosts like to wear?

A: Ghoul-ery


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Another Joke of the Day:

Courtesy of our resident Joke Man

Q: What is the heaviest part of the human body?

A: The skeleTON

har har har har

Monday, October 17, 2005

I Almost Cried

I gave Micah a haircut last week. Over the summer his hair was nice and curly, so short enough that I could get away with not cutting it. Those soft red curls were soooo beautiful! But as the weather turns cooler and less humid, his curls disappear, and then his hair just looks a mess, so I knew he needed it cut. But it was a sad day LOL

Before photos:
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And After:
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What a difference!

I hated having to throw it away:
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Here They Are

Pictures from Troyer's birthday, finally LOL. He has 3 collecting themes, and he got a little something for each: Indiana Jones, Kermit the Frog and the Muppets, and Herbie the Love Bug. He had a great time and loved everything he got. His cake had a big VW Bug on it.

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The whole group

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Levi enjoying some birthday pizza

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Troyer in his Indiana Jones hat

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Troyer's Joke of the Day

What did one whirlpool say to the next whirlpool in line?

Be patient! I haven't finished my turn yet!

I have to say, putting up with years of jokes that just didn't make any sense at all is beginning to pay off; this summer he has started coming up with some that are actually kind of cute!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

So Close and Yet So Far

This weekend my BIL participated in a race out in Nevada. It wasn't your ordinary car race; this race had no drivers. The cars drove themselves through the course. They are officially called autonomous vehicles, and they have computers and sensors; they are programed and then sent out to see if they can get from start to finish without mishap. The race is called The Grand Challenge, and is put on by DARPA, an agency of the government in charge of developing new technology for the military.

The first Grand Challenge was held last year, and none of the vehicles made it more than 7 miles, on a course of over 100 miles. It was exciting, but disappointing too. This year, being the second year, drew more contestants, and better vehicles. BIL, heading up a team sponsored by his employer, ENSCO, entered last year, and did a good job, though he didn't get the farthest on the course. Officials at the race did note his strategies and ingenuity and remarked to him that they were impressed. I would note that the vehicle that did get farthest kind of cheated by hiring a plane to fly over the general area of the race and photograph a "map" of the area(I say kind of cheated because it wasn't prohibited by the rules, but was clearly not in the spirit of the contest; each team was not supposed to have any foreknowledge of the course) and spent a truckload of money on their vehicle. (They had also been working on this type of vehicle for several years, before the race was thought up.) If you were to rate the success by cost effectiveness of the technology, they would NOT have come in first.

This year a lot of the same teams were back, as well as some new ones. BIL and his team designed a whole new vehicle, which they named DEXTER, and had a great start. They did well in all the trials and earned a pole position of 10 out of 23 vehicles. Each vehicle would leave their chute at a staggered start time. No one was really sure if anyone would finish again this year or not, but expectations were higher this year. I was impressed with how well everyone was doing compared to last year.

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The race was on Saturday, and DARPA had live time coverage on their website, Darpa Grand Challenge . I was glued to the screen watching. BIL's vehicle was doing great, it passed 4 vehicles and was in 5th place. Then they passed #4 while it was still running! So they were #4. They got through the toughest part of the course, and were averaging the best time. Things looked so good! But then, aaarrrghhh! The vehicle got a flat tire, and officials were forced to have the vehicle shut down. Waaaahhh!

Image hosted by Photobucket.comthe ENSCO team with DEXTER

As it turned out, the first 3 vehicles did finish, and were followed later in the day by one more, and a 5th vehicle on Sunday, which put DEXTER in at 6th. They did get the farthest of the teams who did not finish. What a disappointment, because of a flat tire! So aggravating. Still, it was very exciting, and again, officials are impressed with BIL's approach so may still want contact with him in the future to discuss developing some projects. But the $2 million prize money would have been nice too LOL

Friday, October 07, 2005

It's been a busy week

So I haven't really had time to post like I've wanted. I have a lot of pictures (last week was Troyer's birthday, plus I did haircuts) but I haven't even gotten them out of the camera and onto the computer to edit. ugh. Maybe this weekend? *sigh* maybe